Dark Country is a free-to-play trading card game that runs on the Blockchain. It promises to appeal to both fans of turn-based card games and investors in NFTs.
Dark country: A World for Collecting and Winning
Games that run on the blockchain, with tokenizable economies have been popping up in recent months. We have already created a comprehensive guide to one of these video games that continues to be very successful, which is Alien Worlds.
The reason these video games attract both gamers and investors alike is the growth potential of NFTs assets. Most are gamers who get some fun in the video game, but take advantage of it to get an extra income. So, if that’s your case, read on!
What is Dark Country?
Today we are talking about Dark Country, a collectible card game in the style of Magic: The Gathering or Pokémon, but with its own unique atmosphere that mixes the Native American world of the Wild West with gothic and spiritualist features.
The game can be downloaded for free to your computer and there are plans to release a mobile version in the future. Being a card game, it is a very “light” game that any computer will run. However, I must say that the graphics and sound are a positive surprise, giving it a very pleasant feel and totally in keeping with the fantasy theme. For a project that is still in its alpha phase, it is already a very solid video game.
The game is multi blockchain, and the ones already running the game are FLOW and WAX. These are two robust blockchains that are very prepared for these kinds of projects that relate video games and NFTs.
How to start playing Dark Country?
To start playing you can download the game by going to the official site and clicking on download game. You will have to create your account.
Then inside the game you create your deck of cards, choosing up to 40 cards from all the cards available. Once your deck is created, you can click “play” and the game will search for an opponent for you to face in a mano-a-mano duel. The one who plays his or her cards best and stays alive at the end wins!
I remind you that it is still in the alpha phase, so there may be times of day where it takes a while to find an opponent to fight. If you want to fight with a friend of yours, who also has an account already created, if you both press “play” at the same time, the probability of facing each other is very high.
At the time this article was written Dark Country was in a free to play phase, where everyone can download, create their deck and play/train without limit.
However, in the future, what will happen is that you will have to buy your cards to play, just as you would with any collectible card game. But don’t worry, the cost of these cards is quite low, just a few cents. At least for now.
All the cards are NFTs, which you can buy and sell. There are already lots of card types that you can explore for sale in the Atomic Hub marketplace.
The game mechanics are quite complex and to be a good player in the player vs player battles will require some knowledge of mathematics, so be prepared. The battle between players is done in turns, you play, then your opponent plays, and so on.
We won’t cover all the concepts, as this is the equivalent of an encyclopedia, but if you have questions you can consult this complete guide on how to build a card deck.
One of the key concepts in Dark Country is mana. Mana is your energy in each available turn. You will spend mana to cast spells or summon creatures or use any item in your deck. The more powerful the card, the more mana you will need to have to play that card.
At the beginning of each round, 1 mana is added to your mana total pool and you have all your mana available. Unused mana does not accumulate, meaning that if in a round you don’t spend mana, it will disappear, not accumulating. An important tip is to always use your total mana on all rounds. For example, if you have six mana to play, it is probably better to play two cards of three mana each, instead of a single five mana card and leave one mana unspent.
So, when you build your deck it is a good idea to create something homogeneous and bring together various types of cards, not forgetting those cards that, although they are weak, require little mana. If your deck consists of only strong cards that require 5/6/7 mana you will pass the first rounds without being able to play one single cards, get it?
Detail of available mana, on the image identified as 9/9
Tempo can be described as the speed at which you can play cards that threaten your opponent. It is important to maximize this ability with the efficient use of ‘time resources’. If player 1 is maximizing all temporary resources each turn, and player 2 is using only half, the high probability is that player 1 will win. Look at temporary resources as ‘use them or lose them’.
Time comes into play right away when you are building your deck. If you can’t play any cards by turn 3, that’s two turns you’ve let your opponent work his way to winner status.
Those early moves will set your game plan in motion and clearly affect the flow in the mid and late game.
Watch a match here to get an idea of how fun Dark Country can be.
If you already feel confident, take a dive and enter the daily tournaments that take place twice a day, at 5am and 5pm UTC time which is Coordinated Universal Time. See what time it is in your area and join the battles! You can even win prizes if you are the best!
Which cards can I choose?
In this fantasy world that blends the Old West with zombies, cowboys, and spirits from another world, there are 5 factions you can choose from:
Ancestral Guard – A mix of living dead Indians
Resolute Rangers – a group of cowboys, with doctors and lawyers mixed in
Cunning Crusaders – An alliance of opportunistic criminals
Destructive Horde – as the name implies, a demonic horde with undead creatures.
Neutral – This mix of natives, animals and beasts, once lived in harmony for centuries, but are beginning to become divided.
The menu for creating a deck of 40 available cards.
In the current format of Dark Country, where it is completely free, you can create a deck of cards with one of these factions, but you can (and should) include cards from others to make your card deck as robust and balanced as possible.
Description of the cards
It is important to talk briefly about the cards that are your ‘weapons’ in bloody battles, where you play against another player, but only one comes out alive.
Generally speaking, there are 3 types of cards: Creature, Spell and Item.
Below you have one of Creature genre, which we will use as an example to explain all the elements that the cards can have. Please note that not all cards have all these elements, Spell and Item have less.
1 – In the creature type, there will be 4 types:
Note: only cards of the Creature type have creature element.
2 – Individual Mark: indicated the restriction of the presence of more than one of these cards in the deck. Mainly mythic cards will have such marks.
3 – Card Name: the name of the card, in the example above, “Sombra Lucia”.
4 – Cost: is the “cost” of the card, in mana. How much mana you need to have to use this card.
5 – Race: Of the 5 races that the game has, and that we talked about above, which one does this card belong to.
The image below recalls the 5 existing races.
6 – Text Box: On Spell cards, this element indicates the effect that occurs when the card is played. On Creature and Item cards, it explains the possibilities or abilities of the card.
7 – Attack: Attack power. Only a Creature card will have this element, indicating how much damage it deals.
8 – Health: It’s the life or health. Only a Creature card will have this element, indicating how much life it has left before it is destroyed.
9 – Card rarity: the rarity of the card, shown by the symbol. In Dark Country the cards can have one of five rarities: Common, Rare, Epic, Legendary and Mythical.
In field 6, Text Box, we explain that the cards have abilities. Below is a list of some of the more interesting abilities that some cards have:
– Fortify: if this card is played, your opponent must attack it before attacking other cards without fortity.
– Oneshot: any creature hit with Oneshot is destroyed.
– Root: creatures that suffer a root can no longer attack.
– Guardian: it absorbs the first attack on the creature, after which it is destroyed.
– Deploy: when you play a card that has Deploy, the effects are triggered
– Last Word: when a creature that has Last Word dies, its bonus effect is triggered.
Call: summons a creature.
Universe Structure in Dark Country
The Dark Country universe, as we know it today, consists of 3 main layers:
1 – The world map:
This is where the continents are available, where each continent is a different blockchain. Currently there are two blockchains present – FLOW and WAX – , so there are currently 2 continents. But there are plans to add more blockchains. With each new blockchain that will be included in the future, a new continent will emerge.
2 – Continents:
Within each continent, it will have the network of land mapped with coordinates.
Since the Dark Country game is multi-blockchain, each continent will have the dimension of 100×100.
4000 individual land plots out of 10000 will be available for purchase, and the rest will be used for various other special activities in the game.
3 – Individual plots of land:
It is one of these land parcels that can be yours! The game from here on out of the realm of turn-based battles, where you fight another, and evolves into something much larger! These plots of land are those owned by the player, who will be known as the Landlord. Within each continent, you can have a piece of land, defined by a coordinate.
Generally speaking, it should be noted that the more centered the plot is, the better!
The more in the center of the continent you are, the more resources you will have access to. More about this in the lines below.
Land Rarity and its Influence
The parcels of land within each continent give the Landlord access to the adventure zones and generate Shadow Dimes (which is the in-game currency, more on this below).
Each individual piece of land allows a number of buildings to be constructed and upgraded. These buildings allow one to upgrade the gameplay abilities of the players and their heroes for their exploration and acquisition of Shadow Dimes.
Not to mention that the plots of land are themselves numbered NFTs cards with market value that can be sold or traded in their markets. There is an obvious inclination for these letters to appreciate immensely in market value, especially those closer to the center, as the image below explains.
At the center of each Continent of Dark Country is the Dark Portal zone, which is the point with the coordinates [0;0]. This point is the main source of the game’s currency, the Shadow Dimes, and the zone where various adventures will take place and where various other resources can be obtained.
Every day the Dark Portal zone generates a certain amount of Shadow Dimes and other resources that will be distributed to the Landlords according to their plot location. This is why it is important to have your land as central as possible.
These lands are one of the main points of this game, and undoubtedly one that will most influence the course of your strategy. The plots will certainly be the NFTs with the greatest value (both in market and in importance and added value), but also where players will be able to become more creative.
The plots of land in Dark Country are much more than just an NFT asset. By shaping and building upon that land the Landlord is creating a small universe within a much larger universe. They are much more than just a plot to explore, it is an asset, a key, a place to live, play and grow as a player.
And that’s because being a Landlord of one (or several) plots of land means that you will have several ways to make profits within the Dark Country universe. Some are an active income, others are a passive income:
- have a share of Shadow Dimes generated
- receive fees for various activities
- renting your plot, receiving an income
- lend cards
- earn extra NFTs
Within the possible buildings you can have on your lot, and thereby earn more, you will have the chance to build:
- A marketplace: where you can buy and sell items, and the owner receives a commission
- Blacksmith – for making weapons
- Tailor -for making clothing
- Tavern – for hosting visitors
- Alchemy Lab – for making potions
- Library – dark art of magic scrolls
- Mercenary Outpost – a place where you can borrow cards
Adventures and explorations will also be available and the lands are the starting point:
- completing quests
- go on diverse adventures
- eliminate monsters defending portals
Being a game with a built-in economy, this is something vital for the duration of such a project. In the end, it is this economy that is the main reason for you to be reading this article, isn’t it?
The currency we have already talked about, Shadow Dimes (SDM) is the in-game currency and is the ‘blood’ that powers the entire Dark Country universe. This currency is usable and transferable within the game, can be mined in the lands and is used for:
- Card and Hero purchases, upgrades and rentals
- Constructing and improving buildings
- Adventures and Quests
- Staking and voting
f you have never heard of staking, pay attention that this term appears a lot in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain gaming. Staking is the act of holding cryptocurrencies or tokens locked in a network to receive rewards. In the case of Dark Country, you set aside X amount of Shadow Dimes, and you will get rewards for it.
Once the lands are integrated into the Dark Country universe, the whole mechanics of the cards will also come into play. The developers of the game are calling the Play2Earn experience for Landlords and Players. In the image below you have the outline of the Shadow Dimes token management.
The main idea is to make your plot of land as attractive as possible, so that you have as many visitors/users as possible. This can be done by creating various events, varied construction, building improvements, etc. Anything that will make your visitors come, stay and come back.
For the Players:
From the player’s perspective, the starting point is a plot of land (it can be yours or another player’s) and a deck of cards with a minimum of 5 Dark Country cards. These will already be the cards you have bought, as explained before.
This is the minimum, and it is more likely to participate in some of the formats I explain below, that you have a deck with more cards and/or a hero.
Heroes are a different NFT than a card. You play a card during a match against a player. But heroes are characters with varying stats that you need to embark on quests and adventures.
After the land dynamic, take a look at some of the various quests you can participate in:
- PvP battles (versus another player):
will now take place on a plot of land, where both Players and Landlords will have their share of profits in Shadow Dimes.
Every weekend Dark Country Lords can open the Portal to the center of the map within their lands by paying Shadow Dimes. The expedition has 25 levels and an increasing difficulty.
Passive quests in a PvE (player versus “environment”, aka the computer) model are also available. With your heroes and your card’s deck, you can send them on missions and obtain resources or Shadow Dimes. Upon completion, part of the profit will go to the Landlord as a commission.
The number of quests available depends on the tavern building installed on that plot, and the durations depend on the hero’s rarity level. The rewards will appear throughout the quest, not just at the end of the quest, and also depend on the difficulty of the quest.
What are the next steps for Dark Country and what can I expect in the future?
When something is in alpha stage, it means that it still has a long way to go, but in this case, it is a good sign, because Dark Country is already pretty cool and has a promising future. In the image below you can see the partial roadmap, which shows the next steps that will happen in the development of this Dark Country.
Until June 2021:
A massive update is planned, where Dark Country will have a 3D version.
Until September 2021:
Land dynamics come into play with the mining of Shadow Dimes.
New game modes and various activities involving player ranking, levels, daily rewards for activities, and in-game marketplace for players, whether more active or passive.
Until end of 2021:
Campaign mode associated with the adventure and evolution of your character/hero.
Full launch with absolute integration of all cards and terrain plots.
By way of conclusion, you can see that the future of Dark Country is promising and very interesting. Try the game now by downloading it here and I’m sure you’ll be excited right away with everything it already offers.
As for what Dark Country aims to achieve, it is almost unthinkable! A great digital world is going to be created! We could be at the start of something really good, whether you are a gamer or an investor with NFT ‘fever’. Enjoy and get on the train now that is just starting to take off, towards an epic fantasy.
If you enjoyed our complete guide to Dark Country, you can buy me a cup of coffee in WAX by sending it to my wallet: dr2ra.wam